The Irrepressible “Happy” Chandler: A. B. Chandler of Kentucky, Part 2

By Ray Hill With his reform package having passed the state legislature and having eliminated Kentucky’s budget deficit, Albert Benjamin “Happy” Chandler was highly popular in his home state. Elected governor in 1935, Happy was beginning to think of bigger things for himself.  Kentucky’s junior United States senator was Marvel M. Logan.  Senator Logan had […]

The Irrepressible “Happy” Chandler: A. B. Chandler of Kentucky

By Ray Hill Few subjects excite as much commentary as politics and sports and Albert B. Chandler played a big role in both for decades.  Serving as governor, United States senator and Commissioner of Baseball, “Happy” Chandler was an institution.  Like most who stayed around long enough, Chandler became controversial in some aspects, but he […]

Louisiana’s Kingfish: Huey Long’s Rise to Power

By Ray Hill Huey Long’s rise to power began with his election to the Louisiana Public Service Commission.  He ran a surprisingly strong race for the gubernatorial nomination in 1924 when only thirty years old, but lost to Henry Fuqua.  Governor Fuqua died two years into his four-year term, leaving O. H. Simpson as Louisiana’s […]

Louisiana’s Kingfish: Huey P. Long Part One

By Ray Hill “Always take the offensive – – – the defensive ain’t worth a damn.” So said Louisiana’s self designated “Kingfish,” Huey P. Long. Huey took his own advice and remained on the offensive until the day he was struck down by an assassin’s bullet. Huey Pierce Long remains today one of the most […]

Governor Malcolm Rice Patterson

By Ray Hill Before the age of television, blue shirts and blow-dried hair, Tennessee had some of the most colorful political figures anywhere. Amongst those was Malcolm Rice Patterson, a Congressman and governor of Tennessee. A veteran of some of the most hard fought political battles in the state, Patterson proved himself adept in overcoming […]

Governor Hill McAlister

By Ray Hill   Hill McAlister very much wanted to be governor of Tennessee and made repeated efforts before finally achieving his goal.  Once in office, McAlister found it bit tougher than he likely expected. McAlister was born in Nashville on July 15, 1875 and eventually graduated from Vanderbilt University’s school of law.  By the […]

Governor Thomas C. Rye

By Ray Hill   Just after the turn of the century, Tennessee’s Democratic Party became almost hopelessly fractured.  The candidacies of two men helped to heal the deep divisions inside the Democratic Party in Tennessee: that of Kenneth D. McKellar for the United States Senate in 1916 and Tom C. Rye for governor in 1914. […]

Tennessee’s Reform Governor: Austin Peay

By Ray Hill Austin Peay was once one of Tennessee’s more famous governors, hailed as perhaps one of the most talented reformers in the state’s history.  The late governor’s legacy is hardly confined to the university named for him in his home city of Clarksville. Born on June 1, 1876 in Kentucky, Austin Peay was […]

Georgia’s Wild Man: Eugene Talmadge

  By Ray Hill For two decades, Eugene “Gene” Talmadge, was a fixture in Georgia politics.  Bold, brash and plain spoken, Gene Talmadge was almost always on the ballot for some office until his death. Born on September 23, 1884 in Forsyth, Georgia, Gene Talmadge was far better educated than one might have otherwise believed.  […]

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